Make a Little Thrifted Fabric Go a Long Way

Fabric coasters

Goodwill® is my all-time favorite place to buy fabrics. Why?  With a lot of really unique patterns and colors ranging from brand new to 50 years old or more, and still unused, the selection is remarkable! Plus, you can buy bulk yardage without paying the price for it. At fabric stores, it isn’t unheard of to pay nearly $10 a yard, but at Goodwill you can buy six or seven yards for less than $5. Scope out the stores near you in search of fabrics, even if you don’t sew, because there are so many projects you could conquer without a needle and thread. Here are just a few:


Close-up of fabric coasters

Fabric coasters are an easy project and only took me 15 minutes to complete. I used the same fabric for these coasters that I used for some of my couch pillows, so my living room decor is nicely pulled together. The only things you’ll need for supplies are fabric, cork board, and Mod Podge (or a similar adhesive). Click here for a full tutorial!


Closeup of lampshade

Next up is a solution to update a not-so-pretty thrifted lampshade. My apartment has only florescent lighting overhead throughout the entire space (yuck!) so I knew even before moving in that I’d need to find some cheap lamps to make the place feel more comfy. I got lucky and found one floor lamp that I loved right away, but the rest were not quite my taste until I fixed them up with a little fabric and double sided tape – so simple! Find out how it’s done here.



Another no-sew project that’s a really unique way to decorate your wall space – iron on fabric decals! I first saw this project when my friend ironed a 6-foot tree – complete with individual leaves – onto the wall of her daughter’s nursery space. It was a fun weekend project that has visitors ooh-ing and ahh-ing and gives little Natalie something beautiful to look at. I’m thinking of giving the project a try in my studio with a big fancy frame, but what you choose to put up on your wall is up to you – get creative!


Close up of napkin sewing

Lastly, fall always makes me want to host dinner parties, but the little Martha Stewart in me likes to make the details of every event herself. Sewing your own cloth napkins is  a nice touch, and also friendly for the environment since they’ll be reusable in the future. We’re working on a tutorial video to show you how easy this project is, so dig out that sewing machine (or needle and thread) and come back for the tutorial next week!


Place setting with handmade napkins

I hope I’ve given you some weekend inspiration and a new outlook on the possibility of your thrifted finds. Don’t forget that the money you spend at Goodwill helps individuals to turn their jobs into lifelong careers with which they’ll be able to support their families, ensure a secure and prosperous future, and maintain a dignity and independence that they otherwise may not have found. All that good for so little dough! Happy weekend.